One of the most well-known and typical red grape varieties in Sicilian wine production, Nero d'Avola is named after the town of Avola near Siracusa, where it was grafted for the first time before spreading to neighbouring Pachino and Noto. Its original name, “Calaulisi”, erroneously italianised and translated as “Calabrese”, derives from two dialect words: “calea” grapes, and “Aulisi” Avola.
By 1800 Nero d'Avola was already a very popular wine in Europe, distributed by French traders who used it mainly to blend with their own wines to give them more body and intensify the colour.
Today, there is no doubt that Nero d'Avola is a prestigious wine of great quality and it is appreciated throughout the world for its decisive, powerful character. It is distinguished by its brilliant ruby red colour, with violet tones when young, but tending to garnet with aging. But it is the vineyards of Eastern Sicily in particular which imbue it with a Mediterranean aroma bursting with fruity, spicy notes. The Nero d'Avola gives Suber body and a powerful fruitiness with flavours of black mulberry and blackberry which give a softness to the taste.
Leaf: medium-large to large, wedge-shaped, pentagonal or circular, usually entire or three-lobed, rarely slightly five-lobed.
Bunch: medium to large, cylindrical or conical-cylindrical, often with long-pedunculate wing or more rarely with two wings; medium to compact in appearance, peduncle generally long and pinkish green, woody at the base; pinkish-green rachis, green pedicel.
Berry: medium-small, truncated ovate to ovate, rather thin, purple-black, pruinose skin.
It is one of the most important black grape varieties in Sicily: intensively cultivated in the provinces of Siracusa (Avola, Noto, Pachino, etc.), Ragusa, Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Catania, it is nonetheless found in all the provinces of Sicily.
USED IN THE FOLLOWING SICILIAN DOC and DOCG WINES
DOCG WINES: Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
DOC WINES: Eloro, Erice, Contea di Sclafani, Contessa Entellina, Delia Nivolelli, Etna, Mamertino di Milazzo, Menfi, Monreale, Riesi, Salaparuta, Sambuca di Sicilia, Santa Margherita di Belice, Sciacca, Vittoria.